Portuguese Language Blog

9 gírias (slangs) from different regions in Brasil. Posted by on Nov 30, 2015 in Culture, Vocabulary

Brasil is so big and diverse that there are a good few words and expressions that are used in some places in the country, but people from a different region wouldn’t even know what they mean.

Last week we learned a little bit more about some words and their correspondent in another part of Brasil, these are different words with the same meaning. Click here to take a look at them one more time.

The idea for this week’s post is similar, the only difference is that now we are going to check out some gírias (slangs) that are used only in specific parts of the country. There are so many gírias in Portuguese that for now we are going to see only some of the ones people say in Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.


  1. Uai: used in Minas Gerais, this word is and interjection, it doesn’t mean anything and can be used in many different ways to express surprise, doubt, amazement and other emotions, depending on how you say it. It can be used at the beginning or end of a sentence.
  • Uai, você não vai na festa? Achei que ia. – Uai, aren’t you going to the party. I thought you were.
  • Uai, não sei se a Marcela mandou o convite ainda. – Uai, I don’t know if Marcela sent the invitation yet.
  • Essa comida está boa de mais, uai! – This food is really good, uai.


  1. Trem: it is also spoken in Minas Gerais and it translates literally as train, but it is used as a substitute for any place, object or situation. It is very useful for when you cannot remember the name of something.
  • Você recebeu o trem que eu te mandei? – Did you get the thing I sent you?
  • Como que chama aquele trem alí? – What do you call that thing over there?
  • Eu comi um trem muito bom ontem! – I ate something amazing yesterday.


  1. Vei: used in different parts of the country, especially in the south-east of Brasil. It is an adaptation of the word “velho” which means “old”. It would be the correspondent term to “dude” or “man” in English.
  • Véi, o show ontem foi muito bom! – Dude, the gig yesterday was great.


  1. Mano ou meu: spoken mostly in São Paulo. It is used the same way as véi.
  • Meu, você terminou aquele projeto? – Dude, did you finish the project?
  • Mano, eu preciso ver aquele filme. – Dude, I need to see that film.


  1. Top: it is used a lot in São Paulo as well as some other places in the south-east region. The term is used to refer to something amazing.
  • Essa receita de brigadeiro é top. – This recipe for brigadeiro is awesome.
  • Comprei um carro top. – I bought an awesome car.


  1. Breja: it has its origin in São Paulo, but now it is used in different parts of Brasil. It is short for cerveja (beer).

me gusta cerveja


  1. Mermão: people say this word a lot in Rio de Janeiro. It is short for meu irmão (my brother). It is used the same way as véi, meu and mano.


  1. Deu ruim: it is used in Rio de Janeiro when something goes wrong, or it doesn’t go exactly how you intended.
  • Deu ruim, não vai dar para a gente sair hoje. – Bad news, we won’t be able to go out today.


  1. Sinistro: also from Rio de Janeiro, this gíria (slang) is used to refer to something interesting and amazing. It would be close in meaning as “awesome” in English.
  • Fui em um museu de história natural sinistro ontem. – I went to an awesome natural history museum yesterday.


I hope you guys enjoyed the gírias, we will check out different ones from other parts of Brasil soon!


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